Julia Duffy, Annie Potts, Meshach Taylor, Dixie Carter, Jan Hooks in Designing Women.
Courtesy Everett Collection
By Chris Morris
September 14, 2018

ABC, which saw tremendous success with the reboot of Roseanne this year, is thinking about bringing back Designing Women.

The Hollywood Reporter notes that creator Linda Bloodworth Thomason is heading the show, which is being billed as a “sequel” rather than a revival. The new Designing Women will focus on the next generation of Sugarbaker women, though original cast members are expected to cameo occasionally.

The Designing Women reboot comes just days after Thomason penned a scorching essay on ousted CBS head Leslie Moonves, essentially accusing the studio head of blacklisting her, keeping her shows off the air for seven years.

“People asked me for years, ‘What happened to you?’ Les Moonves happened to me,” she wrote.

The Roseanne reboot was embraced by conservatives due to creator Roseanne Barr’s outspoken support for Donald Trump. (Barr left the show after the first season following a racist tweet about a former aide of Barack Obama.) Designing Women, though, will likely be a show meant to draw in liberals.

The original Designing Women, which ran from 1986 to 1993 on CBS, never shied away from controversial subjects, ranging from women’s rights and domestic abuse to AIDS prejudice. Two of the original stars of the show—Dixie Carter (who led the show, playing Julia Sugarbaker) and Meshach Taylor—have died since the original show went off the air. Delta Burke, Annie Potts, and Jean Smart all still have active careers.

“I’m very excited to be working with ABC,” said Bloodworth Thomason. “And Sony has always been a great partner for Designing Women. Normally, I’m not a fan of reboots but Designing Women does seem to have the right fengshui for all that is going on right now. We could definitely have some fun.”

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